Pre-ITE: School Observations

“I wish I could have observed more other teachers, both in physics and other subjects. I rarely get the chance to do this now, but every time I do, it is incredibly useful to see what the teachers do and how the students respond.” (NQT, 2013)

Tutors often tell us that the most important preparation you can do is to get into school as much as possible. Observe classes and talk with teaching and technical staff. If you can, take on a volunteer teaching assistant role. If the school will pay you, fantastic!

Of course, being able to do this very much depends on your circumstances and for those who are working or in full-time education in the run-up to starting teacher training, it may be impossible.

But any time you can spend working with young people – perhaps volunteering in a youth movement – or doing something physics-based will help towards your own teaching practice.

We can help you find local schools willing to let you observe through our Schools Experience Programme.



Other IOP websites


A community for teachers of physics and their supporters


A support network for teachers and pupils of physics in England


Ideas and resources for teaching physics to students aged 16-19